15+ Top Things To Do In Beacon NY

If you’re wondering how to spend a day in Beacon NY, then you’ve come to the right place. Since moving up to Ulster County, I have always been enamored by Beacon New York and have found so many things to do in this great place.

Beacon New York is just one of those places that always seems like it’s always buzzing with activity. Each and every time I go to visit I always find something new to see.

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Beacon NY, let me be your guide and take you on a quick tour.

Although some of these locations are open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and NY State and local Governments.

Tips for Visiting Beacon NY
> Make sure you plan your day in advance because there is a lot to see & do.

> Check the individual websites to confirm the operating hours of the businesses you plan to visit.

> Make sure to visit during Beacon New York’s ‘Second Saturday’ held every month. (Read more about this event below)

> DIA:Beacon also hosts a free day for Hudson Valley residents the last Sunday of the month, so make sure you add that to your calendar.

> Street parking on Main Street is always FREE and can be challenging, at times, so having an alternate parking plan (side streets, etc) is ideal.

The outdoor sitting area of Bank Square in Beacon, NY
Outside Seating at Bank Sq Coffee House

Where is Beacon, NY?

Beacon NY Map courtesy of Google Maps

Located near the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and I-84 in Dutchess County, sits a wonderful place full of art, music, food, and everything in between. Beacon NY is truly a special place in the Hudson Valley.

Beacon New York sits along the Hudson River sandwiched between Wappingers Falls, NY and Cold Spring, NY. It’s located on the southern-most western side of Dutchess County.

Directly across the Hudson River is Newburgh, NY. 

The front porch of Mount Gulian Historic Site in Beacon, NY
Mount Gulian Historic Site

NYC to Beacon NY

There are several ways one can get to Beacon NY.

By Train: The Beacon train station is within walking distance to Main Street. The Beacon Train stop runs on the Hudson Line of the Metro North Railway System.  Approximately 90 minutes from Grand Central, this makes it the ideal place for a day trip from NYC.

The Metro-North Train offers a Getaway Package from Grand Central to Beacon New York that includes admission to DIA: Beacon.

By Car: Beacon New York is also conveniently located off of Interstate-84. Interstate-84 can be accessed from the Taconic State Parkway and the New York State Thruway (I-87).

By Ferry: There is ferry service from Newburgh, NY. Running daily from Newburgh Waterfront, the ride itself is about 10-15 minutes and, at the time of this posting, costs $1.75

Hudson River from the ferry boat tour to Bannerman Island

How far is Beacon NY from NYC?

As previously mentioned, Beacon New York is an easy train ride on the Metro-North from New York City (Grand Central Terminal).  It is approximately a 90-minute train ride and it’s a straight ride with no transfers.

By car, though, the ride time may differ. It can be anywhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the day and time of day that you decide to travel.

What is Beacon NY known for?

Once a mill town, Beacon NY started to experience popularity with the arrival of the Beacon NY museum, DIA:Beacon, in the early 2000s. When I ask people what they think of when they think of Beacon NY, they typically say DIA.

Visitors admiring the art of DIA:Beacon

I always have a wonderful time visiting DIA:Beacon. You can read all about it and see photos: A Visit to DIA:Beacon

Best Days & Time to Visit

In my opinion, the best day to visit is during their Second Saturday Events. The streets are bustling with people, the shops are eager to welcome patrons and the galleries showcase the best exhibits around. No matter the season, Beacon New York’s Second Saturday is sure to be a fun day and evening.

There are so many things to do in Beacon NY that you may need to visit several times, but at least you know that during ‘Second Saturday’ you can probably cover a lot of ground.

Is Beacon NY Walkable?

It’s easy to take a stroll up and down Beacon New York’s Main Street. It’s approximately 1 mile in length and full of shops and restaurants. One can easily spend an afternoon wandering in and out of shops.

From the train station, you can walk to DIA:Beacon and to Main Street.

Roundhouse in Beacon, NY

Top 15+ Things to do in Beacon NY

  • Beacon Farmers’ Market – Held on Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm, this Year-Round Farmer’s Market is very popular. The outdoor season takes place from May – November and the indoor season takes place from December – April. This is just one of the Charming Farmers’ Markets that take place up and down the Hudson Valley.
  • Beacon Post Office – Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this post office has a beautifully painted map of the Hudson Valley and some murals that display some historical events that have taken place in the Hudson Valley.
  • Mount Beacon Park – The hike up Mt. Beacon Park begins at a staircase that once was the area where the Beacon Incline Railway once existed. I’m not a hiker but have seen photos on Instagram and the view from the top looks amazing
  • Long Dock Park – Located right along the Hudson River near the Beacon Train Station, this park offers magnificent views of the river and the nearby mountains.
  • Howland Cultural Center – This former library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now a beautiful cultural center that hosts many events throughout the year.
Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY
  • Madam Brett Homestead – As the oldest building in Dutchess County, NY it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was turned into a museum.
  • Hudson Beach Glass – A staple in Beacon New York and the Hudson Valley, Hudson Beach Glass have their gallery and glass blowing area is located on Main Street. Visiting this place is a real treat.

If you’re looking for a memorable experience, then glass blowing is the next thing you should do!
Take a look and read about all the fun you can have at Hudson Beach Glass!

  • Denning Point Distillery – Using local ingredients, this distillery produces award-winning products and is committed to serving only the best to the Hudson Valley.
Sign at Entrance of Dennings Point Distillery in Beacon, NY
  • DIA: Beacon – Where once stood a Nabisco box-printing facility now holds magnificent pieces of art. We are lucky to have such an enormous and significant space to house art.
  • Mt. Gulian Historic Site – Located just on the other side of I-84, Mt Gulian Historic Site is a popular place for weddings. The original house served a headquarters during the Revolutionary War. It’s located quite a walk from Main Street in Beacon, so a taxi may be the best bet on getting there if you’re visiting on the train.

Taking a ferry to see Bannerman Castle is one of the most memorable experience you can have in the Hudson Valley.

Bannerman Castle as seen from the Hudson River in the Hudson Valley
It was my turn to capture this beauty
  • Stroll up & down Main Street – Take the day to stroll and go into shops, galleries, and eat along the way.
  • Attend Second Saturday – Second Saturday is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a once a month event showcasing art in Beacon New York.
  • Get a donut at Glazed Over Donuts – This local hot spot features freshly made donuts with your choice of glazes and toppings. The combinations seem endless.
  • Get coffee at Bank Square – This favorite coffee place of the locals is open early and closes late while offering a menu not only consisting of coffee and tea, but also beer, and snacks.
Bank Sq Coffee is just one of the things to do in Beacon, NY during a visit
Walking along Main Street is one of the favorite things to do in Beacon NY
  • Take a photo in front of a mural – What would a trip to Beacon be without a photo of the mural on North Chestnut Street?
  • Story Screen Beacon Theatre – Beacon’s newest addition to entertainment is this newly renovated movie theater. Grab some popcorn and enjoy a movie!
  • 2 Way Brewing Company – Right by the train station on West Main Street, this local favorite offers crafted brews, displays art from local artists, has a pool table, darts and offers food from Roundhouse Texas BBQ.
Glazed over Donut is a favorite place to visit in Beacon, NY

Where to Eat in Beacon NY

  • Beacon Pantry – Hubby and I have been to Beacon Pantry several times and are big fans of this quaint restaurant offering indoor & outdoor seating.
  • Beacon Bread Company – Open for breakfast & lunch, this local favorite is sure to please anyone walking through its doors.
  • Town Crier Cafe – Beacon got a treat when the Town Crier moved from Pawling New York. If you’re interested in listening to live music, as well as, eating delicious food, then this is your place.
  • Max’s on Main – Beacon NY’s oldest bar is home to great food and great people. They host weekly events. 
  • Homespun Foods – This cozy restaurant serves first-rate food for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The food is always fresh and tastes like it was made in your own kitchen. They have two spots in Beacon: One on Main Street and the other at DIA:Beacon.
  • The Pandorica – If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, then a visit to this popular restaurant is a must!
  • Hudson Valley Food Hall – This newly renovated space houses several food vendors from seafood to southern BBQ. Also, the Roosevelt Bar will entice patrons with local products. 
  • Melzingah Tap House – This gathering place for craft beer enthusiasts, cocktail connoisseurs, and food fanatics is located on Main Street. Offering a fantastic twist on local cuisine, 23 taps of unique craft beer, and custom cocktails sure to delight, it is sure to be your new favorite place to eat. They offer outside dining, so be sure to make a reservation.
A Cheese platter lunch in Beacon, NY

Visitors should plan for a visit of several hours in order to enjoy all the things to do in Beacon

For more information regarding other places to visit in Dutchess County check out:

Sharing is Caring! When visiting local attractions, be sure to tell them that you found them on ‘Hudson Valley Exposed!’

Where to Next???

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve featured to date! 
My blog posts are linked to the pinned locations.
Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the places.

Until the Next Adventure…


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